Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra
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Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra


Band Country Bluegrass


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"Information Crush: Amy's Show List"

So let's look at what's going. On Thursday, I doubt I'm rockin' but if I were, the Lizard looks fun. On Friday for a night of old school rock head over to Church for DMZ and Unnatural Axe. If you have an extra $51 definitely go to the House of Blues on either Friday or Saturday for the Pogues. There is nothing quite like seeing Shane MacGowan slur his inbetween song bantor, drink a bottle of whatever and then nail his vocals on Dirty Old Town, amazing! On Saturday there's a great show at the Plough. Maybe it's because their name makes me smile or maybe because someone plays a jug as an instrument or maybe cause they sing songs about drinking, but I'll be at the Thunderpants Johnson show. For Wilco fans, check out Pronto at the Middle East on Sunday. -

"What the fluff? A Tribute to Union Square Invention"

Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra is a unique liberation of a lost style of music. Together for 5 years now (and friends for decades), TPJHO fuses ragtime, blues, folk, country, bluegrass and rock & roll to produce the traditional jug band sound with a knee-slapping twist to produce a truly original experience. Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra shows turn a banjo, mandolin, 2 acoustic guitars, harmonica, washboard, washtub and of course an old moonshine jug into a magical burst of beer swigging, foot stomping hell of a good time. Their new EP will be available on their website soon.

"Alt Country Extravaganza"

March 28, 2008
Church hosts the second annual Alt. Country Extravaganza tonight and tomorrow night. Night one starts at 7, with the Patrons, and ends at midnight with Rev. Bob and the Darkness. Tomorrow, it starts at 6 p.m., with Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra and ends at midnight with Cassavettes. Altogether, it's more than 12 hours of twangy, alt-country goodness. Enjoy. $10, $15 for both days. Church, 69 Kilmarnock St., 617-236-7600.
- The Boston Globe

"German Shepherd Rescue Event a Success"

Several hundred people and their dogs enjoyed a 2 mile walk in the beautiful woods of Borderland Park to raise funds to support German Shepherd Rescue of New England\'s mission of rescuing homeless German Shepherds throughout our six state area. Proceeds will help provide the veterinary exams and care, medicines, vaccinations, spay/neutering, food, sometimes surgery and the other necessities for the dogs in GSRNE\'s foster care program until a match is made with a good adoptive home.

We had an obedience demonstration by Mike Citro of Baystate Kennel and Training Center. The demonstration included Schutzhund competition obedience and protection with motivational training techniques His experience includes training all breeds for home pets, security dogs, Schutzhund competition dogs and Police K-9s. Mike is a DVG Certified Training Director and Level 2 Certified Trial Decoy.

Mike also conducted Canine Good Citizen (GCG) testing throughout the afternoon. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test are eligible to receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

Martine Meijering, a GSRNE member and her dog, the “Amazing Murray� a Dutch Shepherd mix, demonstrated the sport of Agility. Murray loves doing agility and it has given her a lot of confidence. When she first started, she was afraid to jump over a pole that was on the ground. Now she does all the equipment without any problems!

The dogs who participated included a 14 mo old GSD, Dakota, who is starting her agility career and Sierra, 8 ½ yrs old German Shepherd, who has won many ribbons over the years and is still doing great. Then there were Charley, 6 yo Old English Sheepdog and Murray, almost 4 yo Dutch Shepherd (?) X, who are somewhere in between Dakota and Sierra. The impredemo included jumps, a tire jump, an open and closed tunnel, a set of weave poles and a pause table.

A parade of 27 German Shepherds, including 14 year old Nannie Millie pulled in a wagon by 5 year old Melissa of Quincy, was held.Each dog had a moment in the limelight while the story of its rescue was told. This was a very emotional and inspiring highlight for both the rescuers involved, and the audience listening to hear what these dogs had been through, and to see how very healthy and happy the dogs looked now.

German Shepherd Rescue of New England had an information center where photos of rescued German Shepherds could be viewed, and one could learn more about how the rescue operates, and the various ways one could help the cause.
We had 5 other Rescues who operated informational tables: Coast-to-Coast Dashchund Rescue, Colonial Basset Hound Rescue, New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue, Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, and Save-A-Dog, Inc.

17 vendors/exhibitors exhibited their dog-or human-focused items for purchase. We also had lively music performed by Thunderpants Johnson\'s Hillbilly Orchestra keeping man and beast entertained between events.

The majority of dogs attending were GSDs but there were also other breeds, such as poodle, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Bloodhound, Yorkshire Terriers, and more..

Approximately $10, 000 was raised to benefit the German Shepherds rescued by GSRNE.

Participants enjoyed a full day of dog-focused fun with their dogs and other dog-lovers, watching the Obedience and Agility demos, listening to the band, participating in the raffles,chatting with exhibitors, gathering info, and shopping for some unique, interesting, and/or useful items for themselves or their canines while helping a very good cause.

All in all, a very successful and enjoyable event.. Look for the 8th Annual Walk\'n\'Wag around this time next year!

For more information about GSRNE and see photos of some wonderful dogs in need of good homes, please visit GSRNE\'s website,at, or call our 24 hour Hotline (978)443-2202.
- Downeast Dog News


Wrath of the Piglet Farmers, released 2006.

Currently in the studio working on their 2nd CD!



In the winter months of 2003 two friends were hanging out, playing acoustic guitars, in a living room, on a Sunday afternoon. Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, they did it again. The more beers they drank, the more they mixed random blues and country songs into their song list. It was much looser than your standard band practice. More like hanging out and playing acoustic music for fun. They'd play a few tunes, shoot the shit, smoke a few cigarettes, play a few more tunes, and repeat in different order. Because of the relaxed nature to these "sessions", family and friends were often known to swing by at anytime. What happened next is that these family and friends wanted to play music with them as well and quickly started becoming part of the fabric of the music that was being played. Two guitars expanded to become three guitars and a harp. Three acoustic guitars became too much, so one guitarist switched to a mandolin to mix it up. Once that happened the flood gates were open for something a little different. It was in these early stages that the idea of a jug band came about. They were already playing lots of old blues and country tunes that they started to investigate jug band music. They realized that it would be ridiculous, but to do it right they needed to get some homemade instruments into the mix. Almost immediately they found a washboard player, a jug player, and a washtub bass player sitting on the living room couches and the idea was in full swing. Throw a handful of kazoos in there and a Massachusetts jug band was born!! Sometime in these early stages the mandolin was switched out with a banjo. This gave everything a much more rhythmic/driving sound which seems to be the signature of the band today. The intention was never really to go out and play shows, it was more about hanging out and having a good time. However, In the fall of 2004, after many Sunday afternoons of hanging out on Cedar St drinking beers and having a few laughs while belting out tunes, "Thunderpants Johnson's Hillbilly Orchestra" got together on stage at Evos Art Institute in Lowell, MA and played for an audience for the first time. No one in the band will say that they sounded good, but they definitely made an impression. From that point on TPJHO have been playing shows month after month with many of the people from that night at Evos still in attendance. A few instruments have been added and/or changed hands over the years, but the spirit and attitude of the band is still a bunch of friends hanging out, playing music, and having a good time. The vibe they give off is infectious and sure to crack you up and make you stomp your feet.